A joint is the point of connection between two bones which controls the motion of the various body parts. Any discomfort in these joints can affect the body movements resulting in a lot of pain. Joint pains are extremely common these days and can affect any part of our body, from shoulders, hands to our feet and ankles. Studies show that around 14% of the Indian population seeks a doctor’s help every year for joint diseases.
The reason for joint pain varies from a minor injury, strain or sprain to major diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, etc.and its intensity can range from mild to severe, impairing a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. But since each pain is different, so it their way of treating it. Let’s have a look at the various measures available to ease the pain and inflammation of joints, how to pick and which one is the best.
Over – The – Counter (OTC) Medications
When in pain, the first thing we all do is to run to our neighbourhood chemist to buy OTC medicines. Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are the most common orally-consumed painkillers. Also known as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), these medicines can provide instant relief from moderate-to-severe joint pain with swelling, but, prolonged intake can pose serious health issues including indigestion, stomach ulcers, intestinal bleeding, kidney damage, stroke etc.
An always-on-the-run lifestyle has made everybody including the youth, prone to topical pains. Sprays are another OTC product which provides instant relief when applied on the skin and are easily available at local drugstores. These NSAIDs, target specific joints or muscles and quickly numb the pain with its highly pressurised force. Its effect can be observed within 10-30 minutes of application and typically lasts for an average of 1-2 hours. But these sprays also carry their own share of side effects like burns, blisters, redness, brain damage etc.
They come in all forms from ointments, gels to creams. These topical pain relievers help in alleviating pain when rubbed on affected areas. They contain counter-irritants which heat the skin and distract the brain from the pain. But then, these tubes are helpful only in reducing dull and aching pain. It has a minimum effect on chronic pain conditions, plus, the side effects include stinging, dry skin, burning, redness etc.
Dietary supplements for joint pain:
Supplements are not the same as pharmaceutical drugs. Pharmaceutical drugs are not always safe while the supplements seem safe but are not clinically proven yet. However, some studies have found that certain supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin etc can help with joint pain and improve its functionality. Glucosamine and chondroitin are the components of cartilage that cushions the joints. Although these components are produced naturally in the body they are also available in the form of supplements.
The most effective home-based therapy that does not involve any kind of heavy medications, Electrotherapy is now the most-preferred treatment for treating all kinds of joint pain. This non-invasive and gentle therapy can help alleviate mild to chronic pain conditions without leaving any kind of side effects. It makes use of a therapeutic ultrasound device that generates sound waves which travels deep into the tissues. It expedites healing by increasing the blood flow and metabolism and improves the joint mobility in no time.
Which one to choose?
With so many pain relief products available in the market, it can be hard to decide which option to hold on. Well, you can decide your measure of treatment on the following basis:
Oral pain killers can only mask the symptoms and cannot treat the root cause of the pain
Creams and sprays are more effective than painkillers but provide only temporary relief and are not effective under chronic conditions.
Safe to try, dietary supplements are not effective for everyone.
All of the above treatment measures pose mild to severe side effects in some ways. Considering which, only electrotherapy has proven to be the best and the safest relief measure for a pain-free living. Electrotherapy devices are able to relieve chronic pain to the point that you will no longer have to be dependent on medicines, or their negative side effects.